Fall is for Folktales

Maybe it’s the chill in the air sparking collective historic memories of sitting around thousands of fires, listening to thousands of stories through time; or maybe it’s that the veil is thinner between this world and other possible worlds in this season; but to me, Fall is the best time for reading and hearing folktales, fables, fairytales, myths, and legends. It therefore felt like fate when these two enchanting new books came across my desk: 

 

cover image for the book Arab Fairy Tale Feasts, with an illustration of two people cooking in a kitchen

cover image of the book Legendary Creatures, showing a dragon and phoenix

Legendary Creatures: Mythical Beasts and Spirits from Around the World

By Adam Auerbach  

 

Arab Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook

By Karim Alrawi, illustrated by Nahid Kazemi 

 

 

 

Inspired by these two titles, I would love to share my favorite single stories and collections of folktales, fables, fairytales, myths, and legends—perfect for all your Fall gatherings. There are a great many oral and print versions of all these stories – which tellings are your favorites? 

 

Single stories:

 

The Bremen Town Musicians, as told by Ilse Plume  

Lon Po Po, as told by Ed Young

The Opossum’s Tale, as told by Deborah Duvall, illustrated by Murv Jacob

Beautiful Blackbird, as told by Ashley Bryan

The Weather’s Bet, as told by Ed Young

Anansi and the Golden Pot, as told by Taiye Selasi

Stone Soup, as told by Marcia Brown

It Could Always Be Worse, as told by Margot Zemach

The Turnip, as told by Jan Brett

Grandma and the Great Gourd, as told by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni 

 

Collections:

Her Stories: African American Folktales, Fairytales, and True Tales, as told by Virginia Hamilton

Aesop’s Fables, as told by Jerry Pinkney

The Hungry Clothes and Other Jewish Folktales, as told by Peninnah Schram

Yummy: Eight Favorite Fairy Tales, as told by Lucy Cousins

The Three Princes of Serendip: New Tellings of Old Tales for Everyone, as told by Rodhan Khalidi

The Book of Mythical Beasts & Magical Creatures, by Stephen Krensky, illustrated by Pham Quang Phuc

Full Moon Stories, as told by Eagle Walking Turtle

Classic Tales from India, as told by Vatsala Sperling and Harish Johari

Ask the Bones: Scary Stories from Around the World, as told by Arielle North Olson

How the Animals Got Their Colors, as told by Michael Rosen

 

And graphic novels! 

Jim Henson’s The Storyteller graphic novel series, based on the incredible TV show:  Tricksters; Witches; Sirens; Ghosts; Dragons

Gamayun Tales I: An Anthology of Modern Russian Folk Tales, by Alexander Utkin

The Dragon Slayer: Folktales from Latin America, by Jaime Hernandez

Cautionary Fables and Fairytales series:

Tamamo the Fox Maiden, and other Asian Stories

The Night Marchers, and other Oceanian Stories

The Girl Who Married a Skull, and other African Stories

The Woman in the Woods, and other North American Stories

The Nixie of the Mill-Pond, and other European Stories

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